Fool Me Twice (A Misleading Data Collection and Analysis Project)


This project will help you realize that different visualizations highlight data in different ways

Group size:

The size can be either one or two people. The number should be based on how many people are necessary for the project. For example, if you are analyzing how people react in traffic, you will certainly need 2 people – one to watch cars and motorists and the other to write the information down.

Part One (Learn How to Mislead)

Part Two (Data Collection)

Forming a Question: The first task of your group is to decide on an INTERESTING question to investigate. “What’s your favourite colour?” is not such a question. Part of the process of answering your question involves creating a hypothesis and deciding whether the data you have collected is statistically relevant. You will also need to research some background information about your topic. A good question involves finding something out that people may want to know.

  • The class must agree that the topic is of interest before it is approved.

Creating a Design Plan: You will collect your data through observational study or a survey, whichever is appropriate. Please make sure your data collection is ethical. Please complete the following mini lesson on Study Design. Create a detailed plan that illustrates how the data will be collected. For example, a survey will include the questions, who will complete the survey, and what you intend to do with the data.

  • Your teacher will need to approve your plan before you move on to step 3.

Collecting the Data: You will collect your data through observational study or a survey, whichever is appropriate. Make sure you collect the information in a clear and organized manner. The data collected will need to be included in your report.

Part Three (Data Representation)

Your digital report will be in a formal reporting format.  You may use PowerPoint, Prezie, Weebly or any other program pre-approved by your teacher.

Home Page: Create a home page that includes an interesting visual or video, to get the audience interested and your research question. This is where you can use the background information you found in part 1.

Design Plan: Explain, in detail your design plan.

Raw Data: List your raw data in a simple table format.

Create Misleading Graphs: Create at least 3 different graphs that emphasize different aspects of the data. For each graph include a summary of what they are meant to highlight. Remember your goal is too mislead people using these graphs.

Create an Advertisement or Public Announcement: Using your graphs and collected data, create a media artifact of deception. The idea is that you are purposely trying to use your visuals to deceive the public.

Examples of Broad Topics to Consider:

Mental Health Issues – anxiety, depression, self-esteem – do students at North suffer from this in a different proportion than the national levels?

Physical Health – diet, access to healthy food, water, exercise, sleep, stress,… – possibly how one or more of these connect to each other, to school achievement, to mental health…

Consumerism – what do people buy, how is this different from other areas in the province? The country? The world?

Waste – how much garbage do we produce at North?  How does it compare to other Burnaby schools? To the province/country at large?  On a global scale?

Recycling & Food Waste – are people recycling?  Using food waste bins?

Gender Issues – at North, in Community, …

Race Issues – racism and its effects

Violence – bullying at school, on internet.  Violence and video games

Politics – so many questions here!

Advertising & Ethics – effects of hypersexualization of society

Motivation – intrinsic versus extrinsic, connected to grades, percentages, feedback from teachers,…

Inclusion – do all members of your school community feel included?

Climate Change – what effects of climate change are we seeing today?  What is in store for the future?



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